• Time:
    1 hour 30 minutes
  • Serves:
    50 xkunvat pastries

Anisette flavored pastry drizzled with honey and sugar, very easy and fun to prepare traditional Maltese recipe prepared during Carnival period.


300 grams plain flour
50 grams butter
15 grams caster sugar
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 tablespoon Anisette liqueur
100 ml water
honey to drizzle
icing sugar to frost


In a large bowl sift the flour. Add the butter cut into small chunks and use the tip of your fingers to rub the butter into the flour, repeat until the mixture becomes grainy. Add the caster sugar, egg yolks anisette liqueur and vanilla essence. Slowly pour the water and kneed the dough until it becomes smooth pastry.  Cover the dough and let it rest in a cool place for about 30 minutes.

flour and butter egg and flourxkunvat dough

Roll out the pastry very thin, pausing to rotate the dough to prevent sticking.  At any sign of sticking, sprinkle a little flour beneath the dough and continue rolling.  Cut the dough into a series of thin stripes of about 20cm by 1 cm.

rolled out doughxkunvat dough stripes xkunvat dough

Now is when the fun begins, be creative and create difference shapes with the dough stripes.  The dough stripes can be used to form knots and braids.

xkunvat knot xkunvat roll xkunvat braid


Heat a medium size saucepan with vegetable oil and set a tray with tissue paper on the side.  Fry the pastry until  the dough becomes slightly golden.  When ready  place the dough onto the kitchen paper to absorb some of the oil.

fry xkunvat fry xkunvat xkunvat on kitchen paper

While the dough is still warm drizzle with honey and sprinkle icing sugar.  The xkunvat can be served warm but they taste also good when cold.

xkunvat honeyxkunvat  xkunvat honeyxkunvat icing


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